Football Insider: Kansas State Post-Game

Iowa State continued to steamroll through the Big 12 slate Saturday by rallying from a 14-point fourth-quarter deficit to beat Kansas State. With time to reflect on and review the Cyclone triumph, former offensive lineman Bob Montgomery evaluates the effort in the 11th of a series of post-game reports.

Iowa State from 1999-2003. He is a former ISU team captain, three-time ISU scholar-athlete award winner, and was named ISU's lineman of the year in 2002. He is now enrolled in graduate school at Iowa State. The former academic All-Big 12 and second team All-Big 12 lineman will now provide analysis each week exclusively here at CycloneNation.com.

CN: First off, how about some overall comments on Saturday's huge come-from-behind victory over Kansas State?

Montgomery: It was unbelievable and showed the heart and grit of this team. Being able to come back at Kansas State is a real tough thing to do, especially with how they have played us in the past. The points came from players showing our ability to spread the wealth. We have put our trust in the same players all year and stuck to our game plan. It is showing up now.

CN: As a former Cyclone player, what kind of pride does this victory bring to you?

Montgomery: You know any player that lost to K-State over the years has to take some pride in this win. It is about time that we said enough is enough and decided to beat the Wildcats. Throughout the last couple years we had some players and coaches that didn't really think we could win, but this year they made up their mind and did it.

CN: Where would this win rank on the list of huge ones during head coach Dan McCarney's tenure? Explain your reasoning.

Montgomery: Listening to the players, they say this ranks up there with the Nebraska win, if not better. Being from Nebraska, it would be hard to beat that one. But after losing five years in a row to K-State and them being as cocky as they were in this one makes it sweeter. This may be the best win for some of the guys due to the comeback on the road and the fact that it is K-State.

CN: With their backs against the wall in a place where Iowa State has had little success over the years, how was this team able to come up with 28 fourth-quarter points?

Montgomery: They believed and were confident that no matter what it was going to happen. They were going to find a way to get the job done regardless of the sacrifice. They made the plays when they were there to be made.

CN: Could you see a role reversal of sorts, as this is usually how K-State has put up points in this series, but this time it was by the Cyclones?

Montgomery: Our ability to put up points has to do with the coaches sticking with a single game plan all year. Focusing on the positive aspects of the offense and working on the negative aspects. The opportunity for that offensive line to grow together throughout the season gives that offense a huge boost.

CN: This defense continues to come up with big plays at crucial times, getting a Tim Dobbins fumble recovery and LaMarcus Hicks interception return for touchdown in the fourth quarter. Break down those plays and the roles they had on getting the Cyclones in position to win.

Montgomery: These two players are a couple of the big timers that we needed to turn our defense into a top college football defense. On both of those plays our guys made huge reads and capitalized on mistakes by the K-State defense. Both have great football sense and it showed out there on Saturday.

CN: What kind of grade do you give this defense? Also, how did ISU account for the absence of Brandon Brown and Tyson Smith to play so well?

Montgomery: Everyone including the defense started off a little slow, but as the game went on and we realized we were the better team, we started playing with confidence and playing fast. The ability of the defense to step up with two of its leaders down is huge. Jamarr Buchanan and Cephus Johnson played huge roles filling in for Brandon and Tyson. The depth that we are showing on the defense this year is a sign that we are becoming a big-time program. The big time schools have the ability to rotate players in and out each series.

CN: The running game really made a big difference in this game, as Stevie Hicks surpassed the 150-yard barrier. What was the Cyclone run game doing well? What different areas did they execute very well?

Montgomery: Barney Cotton has these offensive linemen playing like a well-oiled machine. The fact that all of these linemen have played the last five or six games together and improve is huge for our running game. The more opportunities an offensive line has to play together, the better they will be. Stevie has also decided to step it up and is realizing what he can do as a Big 12 running back when he runs as hard as he can. Our offense seems to have worn the K-State defense out and grinded it out toward the end of the game.

CN: Break down the long pass play from Bret Meyer to Todd Blythe in the fourth quarter. How much of an impact did this play have in the comeback?

Montgomery: It seems like this has been the connection that has got us moving all year. Whenever we need a big play it seem like we to Meyer to Blythe. This is the play that made this offense believe that they were going to win the game. That got us rolling and we never looked back.

CN: Can you put into words the roll the Cyclones are now on? Is it now tough for ISU to temper that enthusiasm and get ready for Missouri this Saturday?

Montgomery: The coaches have to keep doing what they are doing and the players have to take it on there shoulders. The senior leaders have to keep this team focused on Missouri and not looking forward. They have to focus on how we got humiliated last year at Missouri and seek revenge. It is hard to say if us knowing that we are the better team will be good or bad. We have seemed to enjoy the us versus the world mentality all year. So I would imagine that Mac will find a way to get that point across this week.


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